My first language does not have articles, and I am really struggling to understand why people sometimes use them and sometimes do not. I understand general rule that "the" means one specific thing and that "a" means one (but not specific), but still in many situation I see people use "the" for plural, or they do not use article at all.

Please can you explain for the following case is it:

"give a credit for"


"give credit for"

"credit" in this case is "commendation" or "honor". ("give credit for idea")

I googled it and saw that majority of the results are "give credit for" but I do not understand why. What am I missing?

Is it because credit used as honor is uncountable?

  • Where credit means an award, a distinction (as a recognized level of academic achievement), a teacher could give a credit to a student, but that's a specialized usage. Usually if you give someone credit (for doing something good) you're giving him recognition - in that context it's an abstract uncountable noun, so no article. Your commendation, honor can both reflect either sense. This type of question would be better on English Language Learners Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 12:28

1 Answer 1


Credit is an uncountable noun in this case. As in:

He deserves some credit.

Give him a little bit of credit.

He should get a lot of credit for it.

Your second choice is therefore correct.

  • So, if I want to specify I will need to include countable noun like (bit, lot) next to an uncountable noun. Here for instance "uncountable" looks like uncountable noun and you have used it as countable.
    – IngoP
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 12:36
  • @IngoP: Only if you wish to be specific about how much credit, exactly, he or she deserves. Otherwise, you can just say, "They deserve credit for it."
    – Ricky
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 12:38
  • "Credit is an uncountable noun in this case. As in:" it is "an uncountable" unconutable is adjective what rule is used there ?
    – IngoP
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 12:42
  • @IngoP: Like sugar, water, coffee, gold, food, etc. Some of them can be forced into being countable: "Let me get a coffee." But usually it's "Do you drink coffee?" "Yes, and I like sugar in my coffee, too." "I'm going to the store. - What for? - To get food." Etc, etc. The word "credit" is in the same category. Unless we're discussing college credits.
    – Ricky
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 12:55

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